Canadian speed skater Bloemen wins silver in men's 5,000m

31-year-old becomes 1st Canadian male to win Olympic medal at this distance since 1932

By Nick Murray, CBC Sports

Speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen captured Canada's third medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics, taking silver in the men's 5,000-metre on Sunday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The 31-year-old from Calgary skated a time of six minutes 11.61 seconds, in a photo finish alongside Sverre Lunde Pedersen, edging the Norwegian by 2-1,000ths of a second.

The medal marked Canada's first in the men's 5,000 since Willy Logan won bronze at the Lake Placid Games in 1932.

Dutch skater Sven Kramer won his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event — becoming the first man to three-peat the 5,000 — skating an Olympic record time of 6:09.76. Pedersen's close finish behind Bloemen was good enough for bronze.

Click the video player to watch Dutch skater Sven Kramer 3-peat in the 5,000

'I'm not even finished'

Bloemen, who holds the world record in the 5,000, was ahead of the leading pace for the entire race, while Pedersen paced himself before picking it up on the final few laps.

Coming around the final turn, Pedersen had a slight edge on the Canadian, before Bloemen found an extra gear to beat Pedersen at the finish line to slide into the top spot with four racers left to skate.

Bloemen credited Pedersen's performance for giving him an extra boost.

"I was struggling halfway through the race and I was lucky to have a good [skating partner] which I could put up a fight with. [It] was really fun and really satisfying," Bloemen told CBC Sports post-race.

"It's a great feeling. For me also, in a big tournament it's my first medal at a [5,000]. I've done it in World Cups before but never at a world championship. It's my first time at the Olympics, I'm walking away with a silver medal already, and I'm not even finished!"

Click on the video player below to watch Bloemen talk about his medal:

Legendary CBC broadcaster Steve Armitage — who's marking his 16th Olympic Games — said Bloemen's razor-thin finish was one of the most exciting 5,000 endings he'd seen in a long time.

"Normally, that race doesn't come down to 1,000th of a second," Armitage said.

"I thought it was a terrific race. I really thought Pedersen had made his move at the right time and that Ted-Jan would not be able to respond. But he did. Dug deep, obviously, and came up with one of the great finishing kicks that I've seen in the [5,000]."

Bloemen is also racing in the 10,000, a distance at which he also holds the world record and won silver at the world championships in 2016. He says his focus will be to get into a good rhythm in the race, which he said was missing from his silver-medal winning skate.

"In a long race like this you really need to find a rhythm or a flow to get through that pain in the middle part of the race. And today it was just not there," he said.

"So for the next couple days I'm going to be working on lining everything up so I will get into that zone for the [10,000] and then I can show some really beautiful things in the [10,000] I believe."

The 10,000 race is set for Thursday. Bloemen will also race in the team pursuit.

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